When Swiss adventure tourist Alain arrived in Sri Lanka he knew he’d found the perfect place to make a lifelong ambition a reality.

He had long dreamed of building a ‘native’ sailing boat that could cruise the high seas as well as the shallow waters and lagoons of the world’s palm-fringed tropical islands.

And on the beach in Negombo, Sri Lanka’s premier west-coast tourist resort, he found the perfect match—two traditional outrigger fishing catamarans and the home-grown expertise to create the ideal vessel.

With the help of local fishermen, craftsmen and sailmakers, he removed the outriggers, joined the hulls together with a flexible wooden platform, rigged the mast and sails—et voila!

Says Alain: “They are exactly what I was looking for, and thanks to the skills and knowledge of the local fishermen and traditional boatbuilders, my dream is now a reality.”

After launching the boat—with a little help from his friends!—he set off on a short shake-down cruise to Kalpitiya, where he intends stock the boat with enough provisions to make the trip to southern India.

And after that? “Who knows. Remember the Kon-Tiki expedition? They crossed the Pacific on a balsa raft, so I’m sure I can cross the Indian Ocean on this!”

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